Onondaga The Jamesville-DeWitt boys baseball team knew it was in for a tough challenge with Section II champion Averill Park in its Class A regional semifinal match-up last Friday at Onondaga Community College.
But the Red Rams didn’t know that the game would be decided 1-0 in the Warriors’ favor thanks to a controversial play in the top of the sixth inning.
AP led off the sixth frame with a single by Ben Reinisch. Then Max Tessitore hit a deep single of his own to left-center field. A Sam Beaulac sacrifice bunt advanced Reinisch to third and Tessitore to second with one out.
Then the drama began.
Tyler Childrose, who was in the midst of a pitching gem, hit a deep sacrifice fly to right field that allowed Reinisch to score from third base for the game’s first run. However, Tessitore ran to third while failing to tag up at second base, so he was forced out when J-D tossed the ball to the bag for the inning’s third out.
The discrepancy came thereafter. Should the run count, although it was scored before Tessitore was forced out for missing the tag?
A 10-minute powwow ensued between the three umpires, J-D coach Ryan Dera and AP coach Mike Conroy. When it was done, the umpires ruled that the Tessitore out was a ‘timing play’ and not a ‘force out,’ so what turned out to be the game-winning run stood.
“(It was a) tough call, but it was the right call,” admitted J-D star Chris McGee.
J-D had a chance to respond in the bottom of the sixth but came up empty. Chris McGee ended what had been a no-hitter for Childrose by hitting a ball that skipped around on the turf and forced AP’s first baseman to dive, and McGee beat out an infield single.